How to Become a Popular Speaker
Have you ever been completely mesmerised by a public speaker and wondered how they could captivate an audience when you would rather run for the hills than even introduce yourself in public?
Believe it or not, public speaking isn’t a skill that most people are just born with. It’s true that there are those who seem to take a shine to it while others baulk at the thought of it, but public speaking is not a natural act and essentially goes against basic human instincts.
However, like any skill, it can be learned and crafted to be used as a powerful tool.
Some of the most recognised public speakers and successful business leaders have struggled with public speaking anxiety, but they learned to conquer the fear that was conquering them.
These tips will take your public speaking skills to the next level and beyond.
Take a Public Speaking or Leadership Class
Warren Buffet overcame his public speaking anxiety by taking a Dale Carnegie course with 30 other people who shared his fear. With courses like this, you get the opportunity to develop and improve your communication, precision and presentation skills every time you speak.
Connect with Your Audience
Some of the most effective and successful speakers are those who can engage and connect with their audience by telling personal stories or by using humour. This narrows the gap between you and your audience by displaying your passion, humanity and authenticity, making it more likely that they pay attention.
Keep it Simple
When giving a presentation, it’s important that you deliver the most vital information in easy-to-understand and straightforward terms: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” (Albert Einstein)
If you have any supplemental visual aids, like PowerPoint, make sure they are kept simple and add value to your presentation instead of detracting from it. Your audience can read, and they are there to hear the information from you. Your materials should act as more of a roadmap, and highlight important points that you expand upon, rather than as a script. Your audience is not listening to you if they are reading slides containing blocks of text. The term ‘Death-by-PowerPoint’ gained currency for good reason.
State Your Aim
To accomplish a complete and impactful presentation, begin with the message you would like your audience to take away with them. When you begin with the end in mind, you construct a well-thought-out and brief presentation and mitigate any risk of straying from your intended message.
By reviewing yourself, you can bring any weaknesses to your attention. Anything from body language, gaps or silence-fillers and fidgeting, to facial expressions and posture, can be noted and altered. It is said that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, so studying yourself after every presentation can help you adjust and improve your connection with your listeners.
By taking these mindful steps and applying them to any public speaking event, you can be sure that, with each presentation, you are closer and closer to making any audience a captivated one.